Author and motivational speaker Vivian Greene coined the famous phrase, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” This phrase is particularly appropriate for healthcare leaders in this time of dramatic and unchartered “storms” and change.
The phrase brings to mind a whimsical image and has appeared within millions of greeting cards as well as countless other inspirational products. You may have read or heard it repeated enough times to simply dismiss it without another thought, or maybe you’ve never even seen the phrase before – either way, I encourage you to take time to seriously reflect on it today.
Life in general, and certainly healthcare leadership in particular, throws a lot at us. Sometimes it feels like we experience more storms than fair weather and more hardships than lucky-breaks. A lot of life’s challenges are unavoidable, so what do we do when we’re caught in the midst of one of life’s storms? As Vivian Green’s well-known adage implies, rather than hunkering down and waiting for things to get better, we should try to make the very best out of a difficult or even bad situation.
It is incredible what great things can be accomplished and what true happiness and success can be achieved simply by adjusting your attitude. I believe attitude is the fundamental key that determines your level of leadership and success. Every situation and circumstance can be looked at from two or more countering perspectives – positive or negative. If you took the time and thought out of the box, you could come up with at least a few items to list as “pros” and a few to list as “cons” for every situation, circumstance or idea. Even healthcare reform! There are always two or more ways to think about something. And the beautiful thing is – you get to choose how you will think and how you react.
It’s not just a matter of optimism vs. pessimism – glass half full or half empty. It’s about being innovative and looking for the inevitable opportunities. It’s about finding ways to make something out of nothing or a perceived difficult situation – to find purpose and value in the midst of difficulty, disappointment and confusion.
We healthcare leaders have a choice. We can hunker down, do damage control, and hope for the best in times of trouble, or we can “dance in the rain.”
I hope you choose to dance in the rain.
National Institute for Healthcare Leadership – www.nihcl.com
America’s Healthcare Leaders – www.americashealthcareleaders.com
Dan Nielsen Company – www.dannielsencompany.com